WSoc: Warriors put GSAC opener away in 2nd half

Three second-half goals provided the margin of victory for NAIA No. 2-ranked Westmont opened Golden State Athletic Conference women’s soccer play with a 3-0 shutout of conference newcomer William Jessup.

Westmont (6-1, 1-0) outshot Jessup 24-3, including a 9-2 shots-on-goal advantage. However, Westmont was unable to turn a plethora of opportunities into points in the first half.

“Obviously, we need to continue to work on our finishing,” said Westmont head coach Kristi Kiely. “That was our Achilles’ heel last week and it could have been this week. We are getting lots of very good opportunities that we are not putting away.”

Westmont finally broke through in the 61st minute. Kaci Mexico retrieved a loose ball on the right side, passed it to Tiffany Dimaculangan who in turn sent the ball left to Sophia Smati. Left undefended, Smati squared up and fired off a shot from 25 yards out that snuck underneath the William Jessup keeper.

“I’m glad for Frenchie,” said Kiely of the native of Toulouse. “She has been putting in a lot of hard work the last week.”

Ten minutes later, Kelsey Steck dribbled the ball down the left sideline and then crossed the ball to Carly Holly who used one touch to deposit the ball just inside the near post.

The final goal came in the 83rd minute after a shot by Holly from the right sidelined ricocheted off the far post. Freshman Ariel Johnston scored her first collegiate goal by collecting the rebound and firing into the right-hand corner.

“Carly made a huge difference,” said Kiely. “She provided one of the best opportunities in the first half when she drove line and crossed the ball. We just didn’t get on the other end of it. Ariel’s goal was a work-rate goal. She was there to pick up the pieces and put it in the back of the net.”

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